×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Obama Addresses Gun Violence at Hollywood Fundraiser

Hours after delivering a statement on the shooting massacre of nine people at an historic church in Charleston, S.C., President Obama and a group of entertainment industry donors had a lengthy discussion about the roots of gun violence in the first of two Hollywood-centric fundraisers in Los Angeles on Thursday, according to an attendee who was present.

About 30 people attended the event at the Pacific Palisades home of Chuck Lorre, executive producer of “Two and a Half Men.” Tickets for what was billed as an intimate discussion with the president sold for up to $33,400 each, with proceeds going to the Democratic National Committee.

Among those attending were Kiefer Sutherland, Matthew Perry, Conan O’Brien, UTA’s Jay Sures, Bob Broder, Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon and writer-producer James Burrows.

The attendee described the meeting, which lasted an hour and 15 minutes, as different from other events in that it offered an opportunity for Obama to have a “long, thoughtful” and serious discussion about issues, including gun violence and his presidency, in a much more “macro” sense than in other forums. The discussion about gun violence touched on gun laws, mental health and race, among other factors, the attendee said. Obama talked about being an optimist, especially about the country’s place in history.

Next on Obama’s agenda was a larger, $2,500-per-person event at the home of Tyler Perry. Perry is a longtime supporter who also held a fundraiser for Obama’s re-election campaign in Atlanta.

He also addressed the Charleston shootings at the Perry event, before a crowd of about 250 people.

“To see such a horrific event unfold like that is particularly shocking and it’s a reminder that we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Obama said, according to a pool report.

Perry introduced Obama, saying that he was “one of the most incredible people I have ever met.” He joked that Obama volunteered to take over the Titanic after it had already struck the iceberg, according to the pool report.

Perry also told about going to the White House for dinner. On the Truman Balcony afterwards, Obama winked at Michelle who “turned into a 15 year old girl,” Perry said, per the pool report.

Among those also at the event were January Jones, Ted Sarandos, Jason Collins and Matthew Weiner.

The Lorre event was closed to the press, while the Perry event, held at his Tuscan-style home off of Mulholland Drive, was open to pool reporters.

“There is something particularly heartbreaking about a death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace,” Obama said at the White House earlier on Thursday. He said that he and first lady Michelle Obama knew Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emanuel AME Church, who was one of the victims.

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said, adding that “at some point, we as a country have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

A White House spokesman told reporters that there had not been discussion of calling off the fundraisers in the wake of the shootings. While there was speculation earlier on Thursday as to whether the trips would proceed, in the past the administration has held to the president’s schedule in the face of major events. Obama also has fundraisers scheduled in San Francisco on Friday.

Obama’s trip will be followed on Friday by Hillary Clinton’s trek to Los Angeles to raise money for her presidential campaign. She is scheduled to fundraise at the home of Peter Lowy, co-CEO of Westfield Corp., at a lunchtime gathering. That will be followed by an early evening reception at the home of Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, and his husband Sonny Ward, and then another event the home of actor Tobey Maguire and wife Jennifer Meyer.

More Biz

  • NEW YORK, NY – JUNE, 24:

    LGBTQ Stars Honored at Variety’s Power of Pride Celebration

    New York City felt the full power of pride on Monday, as Variety celebrated its inaugural issue devoted to the annual recognition of LGBTQ people worldwide. At an intimate gathering at lower east side Manhattan hotel The Orchid, rooftop bar Mr. Purple hosted Variety’s cover stars and luminaries for cocktails and the unveiling of the [...]

  • Motown Seeks to Block 'O-Town' Trademark

    Motown Seeks to Block 'O-Town' Trademark

    UPDATED: The boy band O-Town briefly rose to fame in 2000, with a star turn on MTV’s reality series “Making the Band.” But the reformed group has just one obstacle to its efforts to trademark its name: Motown Recordings. The label’s parent company, Universal Music Group, is trying to block the band from registering “O-Town” [...]

  • Alyssa Milano

    Alyssa Milano Settles $10 Million Suit With Former Accountant

    Actress Alyssa Milano has settled a legal battle with her former accountant as the case was on the verge of going to trial. Milano and her husband, agent David Bugliari, filed suit in 2017, alleging that accountant Kenneth Hellie had forged her signature on checks, failed to pay overdue bills and taxes and allowed costs [...]

  • J Balvin ‘Amicably’ Parts Ways With

    J Balvin ‘Amicably’ Parts Ways With Longtime Manager Rebeca Leon

    J Balvin and his longtime manager Rebeca León have “amicably” parted ways, reps for the singer and León confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by Billboard. León — who also oversees the careers of fast-rising Spanish singer Rosalia as well as Colombian superstar Juanes, with whom she founded Lionfish Entertainment — began managing Balvin early in his career [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Headshot

    Warner Bros. Taps BBC Studios Americas Chief Ann Sarnoff as CEO (EXCLUSIVE)

    Warner Bros. has tapped BBC Studios Americas president Ann Sarnoff as its new CEO, a surprise pick that is sure to shake up the venerable studio. Sarnoff becomes the first woman to head Warner Bros. in its nearly 100-year history. She was under the radar during WarnerMedia’s search for a successor to lead the studio [...]

  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

    'The Peanut Butter Falcon,' 'For Sama' Win Top Awards at Nantucket Film Festival

    NANTUCKET, Mass. — Adventure drama “The Peanut Butter Falcon” and Syria documentary “For Sama” emerged as the top winners at the 24th annual Nantucket Film Festival. The festival, which concludes today, as ever put the emphasis on screenwriters and emerging talents. Director Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Sundance hit “Brittany Runs a Marathon” had a number of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content